Celebrating the UK's trailblazing women - and inspiring the next generation

The First Women Programme was created by Real Business in 2005 and brings together outstanding women from all sectors.

The programme has created an enthusiastic and dedicated network of pioneering women, who engage directly through a series of high profile First Women events, including the Awards, Winners Lunch and Summit.

Real Business is the UK's is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs with 124,623 monthly unique visitors (ABC audit March 2015).

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Working Lunch

At the First Women Working Lunch our inspirational winners and judges gathered to set the agenda for the 2016 First Women Summit.

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This full day summit leveraged ten years of the First Women movement, drawing on the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created to educate, mentor and inspire.

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Founded by Real Business and the CBI. Since 2005, the awards have grown in influence and impact and enjoy the support of many of the UK’s leading firms, industry bodies and inspirational business leaders.

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First Women Exclusives

Women, don’t need to try and find any elusive "confidence"

What holds women back from applying isn’t lack of confidence, but perception of hiring process

You’ve likely heard that men apply for a job when they meet only 60 per cent of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100 per cent of [...]

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Scaling to a new venue allowed Archipelago to go beyond baked goods

Why one bakery boss went against private funding from investors in favour of a loan

Real Business talked with bakery boss Caroline Walsh to find out why she bypassed private funding from investors at a time when she needed to scale her business.

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DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN11 - Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA; Young Global Leader  are captured during the session 'Handling Hyper-connectivity' at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011.

Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Jolanda Flubacher

Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to women aiming for the C-suite? “Sit on the table”

The conundrum of why we have too few women leaders is a subject that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is most passionate about – so we took a look at one [...]

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"For men to take a lower paying job is a real challenge to their gender identity, and that can create a gender conflict that we rarely discuss," said Seguino

Closing education gap still doesn’t spell equal pay

A study has essentially found that the mere belief that markets will fix the gender gap fails to account for centuries-old gender norms and male hierarchies that education alone can't [...]

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Researchers considered the interactions of traders within financial markets and created a computer model to study the hormonal effects across the whole market

Rebalancing of gender ratios on trade floor could make finance markets more stable

It has been suggested that increasing the proportion of female traders could make the market more volatile, but at the same time could reduce the possibility of extreme crashes.

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The Queen exemplifies what is best described as servant-leadership

There are quite a few things men and women alike could learn from the most powerful female in Britain

Queen Elizabeth recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and with there not being much the Queen hasn’t observed in her years, we took a look at what bosses could stand to [...]

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Join the conversation #RBFIRSTWOMEN

Julie Broad Julie Broad @Broad7J RT @JenYoung5: I am very honoured to be a finalist in this year's #RBFIRSTWOMEN Awards #engandmanuf @RB_events @RAEngNews 10 hours ago
RAEng RAEng @RAEngNews RT @JenYoung5: I am very honoured to be a finalist in this year's #RBFIRSTWOMEN Awards #engandmanuf @RB_events @RAEngNews 10 hours ago
Pamela Clare Pamela Clare @PCmakeup RT @katehardcastle: Well what do you know! On a shortlist for the @Real_Business #RBFIRSTWOMEN awards with @DiaryDoll @carolsmillie1 - are… 10 hours ago
Carol Smillie Carol Smillie @carolsmillie1 @katehardcastle @Real_Business you're an even bigger disruptor than me, and THAT'S saying something! #RBFIRSTWOMEN 10 hours ago
DiaryDoll DiaryDoll @DiaryDoll RT @katehardcastle: Well what do you know! On a shortlist for the @Real_Business #RBFIRSTWOMEN awards with @DiaryDoll @carolsmillie1 - are… 10 hours ago
Kate Hardcastle Kate Hardcastle @katehardcastle Well what do you know! On a shortlist for the @Real_Business #RBFIRSTWOMEN awards with @DiaryDoll @carolsmillie1 - are we to sit together? 👠 11 hours ago
Russ Hicks Russ Hicks @GenesisNews RT @GlossopCartons: Our very own Jacky Sidebottom-Every, to attend judging in The First Women Awards 2016 on the 5th May after being nomina… 11 hours ago
Janice Cuningham Janice Cuningham @JaniceCuningham RT @carolsmillie1: Blimey...made the shortlist! Disruptor of the Year.... That's SO me. #RBFIRSTWOMEN #talkingpants https://t.co/GrQbgr0Ew 11 hours ago
Carol Smillie Carol Smillie @carolsmillie1 Blimey...made the shortlist! Disruptor of the Year.... That's SO me. #RBFIRSTWOMEN #talkingpants https://t.co/GrQbgr0Ew1 12 hours ago
Investing Women Investing Women @Investing_Women Super excited about the judging day for First Women awards tomorrow https://t.co/XA5xNiHnBG Wish us luck! #RBFIRSTWOMEN 13 hours ago
Cathy Jackson Cathy Jackson @CJackson6060 RT @GaryReader_KPMG: Very honoured to be nominated as a 'mentor of the year' by @Real_Business which brings together outstanding women in b… 13 hours ago